All-expense paid tour of the Tour, courtesy of Cycling Inquisiton

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I'm a creature of habit. As such, my morning begins the same way everyday. I arrive at the Cycling Inquisition headquarters, step into my modest cubicle, and proceed to check my email. When your blog has tens of readers, as mine does, you can receive upwards of four emails a month...so checking my email alone is a task that requires painstaking effort on a daily basis. The content of these emails is varied, but they usually have to do with the online sale of Viagra. Since I'm a talented writer and, above all, a thinker, I'm able to decipher what my fans mean to tell me when they write and subsequently send me these emails. In the case of the last email such I received, I could sense that my readers wanted me to post something regarding the Tour de France...and how could I deny them? As the premiere source of information on the internet regarding cycling, I decided to step up and deliver said content. Sadly, I quickly realized that I have no access to information about the Tour, and that like most of you, the feeds of the Tour that I watch are often pixelated, and freeze every two minutes. It's with this in mind that I decided to do what any self respecting media mogul would do, go to Google and see what I could find out. It was there that through the magic of Google Maps, I was able to enjoy a virtual trip through some of the Tour's fabled climbs. If you're a lonely shut-in like me, I think you may enjoy (virtually) traversing these well-known roads while looking for the names of cyclists painted on the roads. Hey, it may not be an all-expense paid trip to the Tour including wine and cheese tastings, but don't let it ever be said that Cycling Inquisition doesn't take care of its readership. Click on any of these to navigate the climbs through Google Street View. Enjoy the free tour of the Tour.


Col d'Aspin (Note the Virenque road graffiti)


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Col de la Bonette


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Col du Tormalet


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Mont Ventoux


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Hautacam


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Alpe d'Huez


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Galibier

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The Tour aside, I should remind all of you that other races and events in cycling continue to go on while the world fixates on France. Being that I'm the lone purveyor of news regarding Colombian cycling in the whole wide world (let's ignore all the Colombian newspapers that have sizable online presences), I'm obligated to relay the following bits of information to you as part of today's post.

Acqua & Sapone is looking to merge with one of several Colombian teams, more than likely Colombia Es Pasion-Cafe De Colombia or EPM-Une. The head of the Colombian Cycling Federation confirmed this to the newspaper El Tiempo, and stated that the amount that the team is looking for is roughly 2.5 million Euros. This would mean that the resulting team would be comprised of Italian and Colombian riders. Personally, I find the whole idea interesting, but also fear that Colombian riders would get lost in the mix. There have been previous examples of this, most noticeably the invasion of Euro-mullets that took over Colombian cycling for a sizable portion of the late 90s. The truth is, Colombians stand little chance of survival when faced with the lure of European fashion, and cycling may not fare any better. My guess is that the team would mostly have Italian directors, and Colombian riders would be used to support the likes of Stefano Garzelli, and most of the budget would be used to pay for the waxing of his eyebrows.




As I understand, the entire budget for the Colombia Es Pasion-Cafe De Colombia team (which now includes ex-Rock Racing rider Victor Hugo Peña) is less than one million Euro...so we're talking about a substantial amount of money for either Colombian team. We'll see what happens. You can see the article here.

Speaking of ex-Rock Racing riders, Santiago Botero has announced that he'll retire and go on to work for the team he last raced for, Orgullo Paisa. In 2010 he won both the time trial and the road race in the South American games. Botero has just signed Oscar Sevilla to the team he will be the director of. Lucky for Botero and his team, Sevilla requires no eyebrow waxing, and has chosen to keep his original hairline, which makes him look like a Muppet.